Mugello, Italy 04 June 2017: Mahindra riders came within less than a second of adding to World Championship racing's only Indian constructor's points score in today's Italian GP. But with a pack of 19 riders crossing the line within a record 2.3 seconds, they narrowly missed the top-15 scoring positions.
The first race of the day at the majestic 5.245-km Mugello circuit, overlooked by the Apennine mountain passes of the historic Mille Miglia, produced a breath-taking Moto3 battle. Riders were changing places from the first moment to the last of the 20-lap, 104.9 km contest.
It was desperately hard to gain places in a brawling pack, running into the track's sweeping corners four or five abreast; but easy to lose them – a small slip could easily cost a rider ten or more positions. For example, the fastest qualifier – former Mahindra rider Jorge Martin – ran right up front for much of the race, but finished 15th.
The top Mahindra rider was Marco Bezzecchi, riding for the independent CIP team, who moved up four places to 17th on the last lap. The Italian rookie was just seven tenths of a second away from the points.
Aspar Mahindra team rider Lorenzo Dalla Porta was a mere 0.060 of a second behind, lying 19th. For most of the race he had been in the top 15. His team-mate Albert Arenas had been with him, sometimes ahead, but fell on the last lap, striving to secure points.
Jakub Kornfeil, riding a Mahindra MGP3O wearing the badge of sister company Peugeot, was a close 20th.
The race brought a first victory of the season for KTM, and rider Andrea Migno.
The next race is the Catalan GP, in one week.
Marco Bezzecchi, CIP Mahindra
"It was a very funny race, a really big group all fighting so much. I got a bad start but I was able to overtake a lot of riders in the first lap. At the end of that I was able to stay in more or less my position from the start. Afterwards I started to overtake more and more riders. On the last lap I gave it everything but some guys made some big moves, maybe a bit wild. Now we start to think of Barcelona and getting points again"
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing
"So close, and yet so far. It was a classic Mugello race with a big pack of riders all together. Frankly, when it is like this, finishing positions are a bit of a lottery. We are happy with the pace our riders showed, with fast lap times and staying with the lead group. It is just unfortunate they were not in the top 15 past the chequered flag."
About Mahindra Racing
In 2017, Mahindra Racing is competing as a constructor in its sixth year in the Moto3™ class of MotoGP™ and remains the only Indian constructor in the series, having first participated in 2011. Mahindra Racing supplies the Mahindra MGP3O single-cylinder, 4-stroke, 250cc motorcycle to the factory Aspar Mahindra Team and customer teams. Mahindra also supplies an official Peugeot Motocycles derivative of the MGP3O to the factory Peugeot MC Saxoprint Team.
The 2016 Mahindra Racing line-up includes: Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3 – Albert Arenas (SPA), Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA); Peugeot MC Saxoprint – Jakub Kornfeil (CZE), Patrik Pulkkinen (FIN); CIP-Unicom Starker- Manuel Pagliani (ITA), Marco Bezzecchi (ITA).
Mahindra Racing made history in the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix taking the first-ever podium for an Indian constructor. The MGP3O recorded top-five finishes in 10 of the 17 rounds in 2013 as well as a pole position, three circuit lap records and third in the constructors’ rankings. The 2014 season saw a further three podium finishes for the Indian motorcycle, including second place at the Sachsenring. In 2015, the Mahindra regularly fought at the front of the ultra-competitive Moto3™ class and recorded a podium finish at Le Mans.
2016 got off to a strong start for Mahindra Racing with Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3 rider Francesco (Pecco) Bagnaia securing a third place podium finish at the opening round in Qatar. The podiums continued in Jerez and Mugello before Pecco made history with victory in Assen, Mahindra’s first in the World Championship. It was a historic day for everyone involved and proved the high level performance capabilities of the MGP3O. Two more victories followed with John McPhee dominating the field in a wet Czech GP before Bagnaia took a wonderful seven-second win in Sepang.
As well as its commitment in the World Championship, Mahindra continues to supply MGP3O machines to Team Aspar to compete in World Championship feeder series, the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship in 2017. Grand Prix legend Max Biaggi will spear head Mahindra's effort in the CIV, the Italian Championship.
Mahindra’s bold decision to take on the world’s best at the highest level of motorcycle racing has won the team a number of prestigious awards in India, including: the NDTV Car and Bike Awards - 'Mobil 1 Motorsport Award of the Year', 2012, 2013 and 2017; the Bike India Magazine - 'Motorsport Award', 2013; and 'ZigWheels Motorsport Award of the Year', 2012. Mahindra also won ‘Racing Bike of the Year’ at the Zeeignition Auto Awards, 2016. A successful 2016 campaign also saw Mahindra win Autocar’s Motosport Award in 2017 as well as the Times Fast Bikes Bikesport Award.
For further information please visit: www.mahindraracing.com.
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In 2015, Mahindra & Mahindra was recognized as the Best Company for CSR in India in a study by the Economic Times. In 2014, Mahindra featured on the Forbes Global 2000, a comprehensive listing of the world’s largest, most powerful public companies, as measured by revenue, profit, assets and market value. The Mahindra Group also received the Financial Times ‘Boldness in Business’ Award in the ‘Emerging Markets’ category in 2013.
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